We don’t have to just sit here. We can resist.

We can all take actions, large or small, to resist unjust public policies.

I know I’m not the only one who has felt immobilized by fear after the election. The thought of Trumplethinskin in the White House has kept me up at night and made me feel hopeless and helpless like never before.

I have reached out to friends and therapists, even a psychiatrist, Steven Buser, M.D., who also is co-author of the book, “A Clear and Present Danger: Narcissism in the Age of Trump.” (Chiron Publications, $16.95)

“In 30 years of clinical practice, I have never seen this level of dread and anxiety in any election,” Buser said.

Dr. Kelly Johnson, a therapist and friend, told me she has seen a tremendous increase in the number of people who are experiencing “teariness,” anxiety and depression, as have her peers. In fact, she says, it’s not just patients — she and her peers are feeling it, too.

Most of us are afraid this man will keep his campaign promises.

Some of us — many of us — are survivors of sexual violence, and we are appalled that a confessed sexual predator who has no experience in government is moving into the White House.

How could confessing to grabbing women by the pussy not have been a game changer for voters?

For weeks, I have seen posts on Facebook and heard people talking about how we can stop him from taking power, and I have said all along I can’t buy into these false hopes. We are going to have to deal with this man, like it or not.

So, here are some tips I’m following:

  • Don’t watch TV news. Not any of it. Read your news from trusted sources online, such as The Guardian, BBC and Democracy Now. This man’s voice is a trigger for me and many others. You won’t hear or see him if you don’t watch or listen. Check the validity of your sources to make sure you’re not being pulled in by propaganda (aka “false news”).
  • Practice self-care. We’re in for a bumpy ride and we need to be in the best frame of mind to face it. So, get plenty of rest. Take walks outdoors. Take a yoga class. Meditate. Do some deep breathing exercises. Create — knit, paint, sculpt, make jewelry … Eat healthy, but do indulge in a favorite treat once a week or so.
  • Don’t turn to alcohol. A drink might seem to dull the senses for a time, but alcohol is a depressant, and if you’re feeling down already, it won’t help.
  • Find an issue and work on it. One issue, two at most, is what you need because you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Go to marches and rallies, if only to remind yourself that others feel the same way you do and to connect with them. If you don’t want to be involved in anything political right now, that’s OK; you can deliver Meals on Wheels or volunteer at an animal shelter or an after-school program.
  • Take action in some small way. Write to your members of Congress. That’s how we stopped them from gutting the ethics office. As much as Trumplethinskin thinks his tweet stopped them, it was, in reality, the actions of tens of thousands of citizens who called, e-mailed or showed up at their offices.
  • Reach out to friends. I started a group for women who have survived sexual violence and who were triggered by the election. It was supposed to be a one-time event, but we all agreed we’re going to need each other over the coming months.
  • Contribute to the effort to fight the injustices that are coming. Donate to the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women or the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • If you think you need professional help, you probably do. Don’t hesitate to call a therapist or talk to your doctor or clergy person.
  • Most of all, don’t give up. There are more Americans who didn’t vote for this man than who did. He and his ilk may have power for now, but we can resist. In fact, we must.


Where’s the thanks?

Imagine being yanked from your home and family for a year at a time, three, four, or even five times, shipped to a war zone where you never know who might be trying to kill you and having to kill other human beings just to stay alive. You watch friends die, see children maimed, witness suffering all around you.

Then you come home and you’re expected to pick up where you left off.

Of course, the more deployments you have, the more difficult it is to return to a “normal” life.

I know how it was for my contemporaries who served in Vietnam and they only served one tour for the most part. They had nightmares. One vet in his 50s told me he hadn’t slept through the night since he came home. A friend’s brother insisted on sleeping under his bed for months. Any loud noise would set off a panicked reaction.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to endure that four times.

The war in Afghanistan is the longest in our nation’s history, and never have we waged a war with such a small percentage of our young men and women carrying on the fight. They’re coming back with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression, traumatic brain injuries, missing limbs … and we’re not caring for them, even though the promise of care was something they were counting on when they signed up to fight.

Now, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has concluded that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ treatment of vets with psychiatric illnesses is so bad it’s unconstitutional.

Two groups, Veterans United for Truth and Veterans for Common Sense, brought the suit against the Veterans’ Administration, charging that veterans returning from war aren’t getting the care they need and are committing suicide at alarming rates as a result.

In fact, more than half of all veterans treated by the VA since 2002 have psychiatric issues — some 330,000 so far, according to Veterans for Common Sense. And there’s plenty more out there waiting, not to mention the fortunate few who have health insurance that will cover what they need.

About one-third of the veterans who commit suicide are under the VA’s care. When they call asking for help, they’re met with wait times that stretch into weeks, and the times are getting longer. They can’t even make a case for expedited care because the VA doesn’t have the capacity to deal with all of them.

But the three judges, one of whom was appointed by Ronald Reagan and the other two by Jimmy Carter, said veterans and their families have a constitutional right to receive care for illnesses and injuries sustained in the course of duty.

Here is what the court concluded:

The United States Constitution confers upon veterans and their surviving relatives a right to the effective provision of mental health care and to the just and timely adjudication of their claims for health care and service-connected death and disability benefits…their entitlements to the provision of health care and to veterans’ benefits are property interests protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The deprivation of those property interests by delaying their provision, without justification and without any procedure to expedite, violates veterans’ constitutional rights. Because neither Congress nor the Executive has corrected the behavior that yields these constitutional violations, the courts must provide the plaintiffs with a remedy.

It’s not going to be cheap to fix this, but we have to try. In fact, men and women are coming home so broken that there’s nothing we can do to heal them, but we can’t let them suffer without trying to ease their pain.

Too many people talk big about supporting our troops, but they don’t want to end the war and they don’t want to pay for proper care. Well, it’s time to pay for what we’ve done.

This is what happens when we try to fight wars on the cheap, with borrowed money, while we cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans and rob the neediest Americans of programs they need to live. Our military people don’t come from wealthy families. Most of them joined for the benefits they were promised — health care, an education, job training, and a chance to defend their country. They can’t afford to pay for the care on their own.

We sent these people out, not just once, but up to five times. We have an obligation to fix what we broke.


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